This week’s food news | 26th March 2010

Untimely death of a young chef

Many were saddened this week by news of the death of 23-year-old chef Nathan Laity. A senior sous chef at the Tate Modern, Laity had contracted tonsillitis but continued to work 14 hour days for almost 4 weeks. He died in his sleep on Mother’s Day. Doctors indicate that his immune system had simply shut down through exhaustion – another truly heart-breaking reflection of the intensity of work that many chefs subject themselves to.

Cider to get a 10% tax hike

It’s the sort of news to make a Bristolian weep. In this week’s budget Alistair Darling announced that duty on cider would increase by 10% in an effort to curb binge drinking. In real terms this could mean up to an extra 10p a pint – that’s a packet of crisps every four pints. I drowned my sorrows by skulling a bottle of vodka instead.

Bovine flatulence problem exaggerated

It appears it isn’t only cows that are full of hot air. This week a UN advisor admitted statistics suggesting that the meat industry was responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases was perhaps a little embellished. This doesn’t change the fact, however, that a little BOOMing on all our parts would do both our health and the environment a favour.

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Other food news:

* Attempts by Spanish MEPs to bring back the ban on wonky veg falls flat on its face. Thankfully.

* First episode of The Delicious Miss Dahl on BBC2 creates controversy.

* Jamie Oliver heads to the States to tell them how to eat. Camel, eye, needle?

* El Bulli’s Ferran Adria to teach culinary physics at Harvard.

* Guinness launches a black lager.

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A good blog post:

* Why the Sustainable Restaurant Association can make a difference, by Henry Dimbleby – an important issue, but does the plan go far enough?

My favourite recipe of the week:

Rhubarb is bang in season; here’s a wicked pudding from Cheaper Than Chips.

Funniest video of the week:

The flailing arms, the look of elation as the tongue lolls out…I watched this about five times in a row.

Best byline of the week:

Just in case you missed this puerile gem. Perhaps the Times should have chosen a different writer for this article.

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